BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

The best SPF moisturizers, because you still need protection in winter

Fenty Skin

You should be applying sun protection for outdoor activities year-round

Though the word “sunscreen” may call to mind images of summer days spent on a sun-soaked beach, dermatologists are adamant that everyone should be using sun protection year-round. Sun damage can happen to your skin at any time, regardless of the season, and since your face is the most exposed, it’s important to pay extra attention there. 

If you don’t like the feeling of traditional sunblock lotions, which can feel sticky or greasy, invest in a moisturizer with SPF to protect the skin on your face and neck from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Shop this article: EltaMD UV Facial Sunscreen Moisturizer, Olay Regenerist Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen, Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Broad Spectrum Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer

How a facial moisturizer with SPF works

There are two types of sunscreens: mineral and chemical. Mineral sunscreen works to form a physical barrier on top of the skin that reflects the sun's harsh UV rays away from your skin. On the other hand, chemical sunscreen penetrates the surface of your skin and then absorbs sun rays before they can cause damage to your skin. Both are considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration, but mineral sunscreen is said to be more environmentally friendly.

How high an SPF rating should I get in my facial moisturizer?

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should wear at least an SPF of 15 or higher if you spend most of your time indoors; otherwise, you should use an SPF of 30 or higher. For facial moisturizers with an SPF rating, most dermatologists recommend SPF 30 or higher to everyone, no matter their daily time spent in the sun. They also recommend choosing an SPF moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunscreen to block both UVA and UVB rays.

What to look for in an SPF moisturizer

Moisturizers with SPF can address pretty much any skin concern. If dryness and redness are your concerns, look for ones with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. If you are hoping for brightening results, reach for a product that has vitamin C. If your skin is acne-prone, pick one that’s noncomedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores. You may also want to try a product that has some salicylic acid. 

When to use an SPF moisturizer

It’s best to only use an SPF moisturizer during the daytime. At night, you should pick a moisturizer without SPF in it. Remember that if you’re going outdoors, you’ll want to reapply SPF approximately every two hours. So, you’ll want to carry your moisturizer with you for reapplication, or you’ll want to pick a supplemental SPF product to reapply throughout the day. 

Best SPF moisturizers

Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Broad Spectrum Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Moisturizer

This noncomedogenic lightweight moisturizer with SPF 30 has none of the chalkiness or greasiness of traditional sunscreen, regardless of your skin tone. It works to brighten skin and reduces the look of pores, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles as it hydrates. It also doubles as a primer. 

Saie Sunvisor Radiant Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 35

This product is a serum, a moisturizer and SPF all in one. It combats dryness and dullness thanks to hero ingredients including vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. The 100% mineral zinc oxide product offers SPF 35 protection and shields against UVA and UVB rays. It also comes in a mini size that’s perfect for travel.

Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30

The hydrating product is formulated with vitamin E, vitamin B3 and aloe to gently condition the surface of your skin. Meanwhile, SPF 30 helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The noncomedogenic formula is light and non-greasy. It absorbs quickly, with none of the sticky feel of traditional sunscreen.

Paula’s Choice Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50

Offer your skin even more sun protection with this SPF 50 moisturizer. It’s packed with antioxidants to protect against environmental stressors. Additionally, niacinamide, shea butter and licorice help prevent premature aging and hydrate your face and neck while leaving a dewy finish. 

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30

If your skin has uneven texture or loss of firmness and elasticity, you may enjoy this light-textured daily hydrator with SPF 30. Safe for sensitive skin, the moisturizer is formulated with squalane, which supports skin’s natural moisture balance to keep it soft and supple.

Olay Regenerist Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen

This light and refreshing cream has a pleasant citrus scent that’ll melt into your skin the minute you apply it. It’s formulated with vitamin C, peptides and sunscreen actives, which work together to help visibly brighten and hydrate skin while protecting it from the sun. It comes in a convenient pump, which is more sanitary than a product tub.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

This noncomedogenic facial moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid to retain skin moisture, as well as niacinamide to help calm skin. It’s also formulated with three essential ceramides to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. The drugstore product is a budget-friendly yet high-quality pick. 

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb Sunscreen 2-in-1 SPF 50 and Moisturizer

This hydrating product, which works on all skin types, offers SPF 50 protection from the sun by blocking harmful UV rays. It contains marigold extract to help reduce UV-induced oxidative stress, while the inclusion of woodbine works to support cells with antioxidant effects. It absorbs quickly and has a delicious citrusy scent.

EltaMD UV Facial Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30

Slather on this hyaluronic acid-packed product to lock in moisture and help your skin stay soft. It offers SPF 30 protection, but it’s non-greasy and can be worn alone or under makeup. It’s best for normal and dry skin types. 

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 35

This unscented lotion is great for people with sensitive skin. It uses edelweiss flower extract to help nourish and repair the skin barrier, while an antioxidant blend prevents surface free-radical damage. The non-greasy formula is also noncomedogenic. 

Worth checking out 

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Talia Ergas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: